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Do grandparents have rights to see grandchildren?

The break-up of a marriage or relationship is a stressful time not only for the parents and children but also for other close family members.

One of the biggest fears for extended family members is that the grandparents’ ability to see children will be affected when previously they might have had a very close relationship.

If there are initial problems, hopefully when the anger and upset connected to the break-up has died down a little, both parents will recognise that grandparents have a great deal to offer – most children will wish to see them. It might be that contact will only take place when your son or daughter is having contact with their children.

In some cases where it isn’t possible or appropriate for children to see either or both of their parents, grandparents can be given separate contact. However there is not a presumption of contact between grandparents and their grandchildren. Expert advice should be obtained to give your application the best chance of success.

Grandparents often ask if they have access rights or contact rights to their grandchildren. They do not have legal rights as such, but they can apply to the Court for contact arrangements to be made. Grandparents have first of all to apply for permission, before then being allowed to proceed with their application for contact (access) to their grandchildren.

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